What better topic to get Grey’s blood boiling early in the week than top starting pitchers for fantasy. If you don’t know, not sure how you couldn’t, but Grey hates pitchers in the top three rounds. He’d rather live out his days as Pablo Sandoval’s bosom sweat mediation pad than draft Clayton Kershaw. So we use Grey’s Top 40 Starting Pitchers as our guide, and dive into the strategy of building a pitching staff. We go tier by tier, directing you on who to avoid, who to draft, and where to buy the best boba filled refreshments. #Bobalife. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I love keeper leagues. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em. Redraft leagues are fine and all but with keeper leagues you become more connected to certain players and have an affinity for them over all others. They become the unofficial “face of your franchise” and are synonymous with your team. Hanley Ramirez will always be one of my favorite players because he was one of my keepers from 2007 (back when he was a 50 base stealing FLORIDA Marlins shortstop) until 2012. I grabbed 26 error third basemen Ryan Braun in 2007 and he was my ride or die until he was 61 games-played outfielder Ryan Braun in 2013. I still haven’t forgiven him for embarrassing the Roswell Aliens like that…
Keeper leagues add a new wrinkle to your draft strategy. You’re keeping Gary Sanchez? Great! You don’t have to decide whether you want to draft James McCann or Tucker Barnhart in the 25th round! Keeping one of the big-4 aces? Wonderful! You can now load up on offense early and wait to take Kyle Hendricks as your second starter.
If I were writing this article pre-season 2017 pitchers would be few and far between on this list. Only Clayton Kershaw would’ve been found in the top 25. Now, in this juiced ball era, starting pitchers find themselves a bit more valuable. Although, with this universal humidor situation it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the faces of our teams. For example, the day after the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they would utilize a humidor in their stadium I saw a tweet that said Paul Goldschmidt fell to the 15th overall pick in one draft. If they kept Paul Goldschmidt himself in a humidor for all of 2018 I’d still draft him before pick 15.
Let’s get into my methodology here. I’m going to be mainly focusing on 2018 because the future is hard to predict. However I’m not going to completely ignore that if you’re reading this article you’re probably not in a 1-year keeper league so there will be some projecting for the next few years as well. That means age will be a factor here. Joey Votto can still smash, but is 34 while his younger brother Freddie Freeman hits just as well and is only turning 29 at the end of this season. Position will also be a factor. Needing 1 second basemen in a shallow pool means that they’re more valuable than the 3-5 outfielders you’ll need. The intersectionality of speed/power and age will also be considered. Dee Gordon is turning 30 in April — how long will his legs hold up? Chone Figgins went to Seattle in his 30’s in 2012 and his career was donezo by 2013. Injury history should also be considered. Giancarlo Stanton was an MVP in 2017, but had over 500 ABs just twice in his previous 7 seasons. As a Yankee fan I’m hoping he stays healthy, but as a fantasy baseball owner I’m cautious. Have any of you actually read any of this or did you just jump straight to the chart to find your players?
Oh well, enough jibber-jabber! Let’s get into it:
The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!Please, blog, may I have some more?
One word about this top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words. I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2018– Ah, I almost got you. This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other. Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from. 428 more, to be very exact. Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 530. Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April. Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500. Yeah, that makes sense. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2018 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Also, the online Fantasy Baseball War Room is, uh, online. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies. It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown. I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted. Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth. Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around. Simple Math also says, “Stop putting words in my mouth!” In most leagues, there’s a ton of pitchers on waivers that can help you — all year. Not just in April, and then they disappear. With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest. There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck. Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs. Finally, the best starters can give you four categories. The best hitters can give you five categories. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alex Reyes is the guy that’s going to be the difference maker on my points league teams this season. Well, except in any league where any of my opponents read this post. If I’m thinking outside of my “points league box”, he has the potential to make a difference in all fantasy formats this season. I see him as a mid-season sleeper that’s going to take up a roster spot for at least one or two before you have a chance to see if holding him will pay any dividends. This is a risk I am willing to take, and is one I’m recommending to the rest of you.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, how’s everyone holding up without baseball every day? I don’t know what to do with myself! Yesterday I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Marcus Stroman for 2018. Then I sobbed into a cheddar scone until someone asked me to leave. We’ve gone over the final 2017 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15. That’s hardcore nerd shizz! This is simply fantasy baseball, we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left. You’re welcome. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2018 rookies. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s see, all rise for the Judge. Can I get a witness for Judge? Judge, jury and executioner of fastballs. This is one Judge who should never see the bench. There’s a ten from the East German for Judge! Well, you can be the Judge of that, not really tho. You can Judge a book by how hard he knocks the cover off the ball. And, of course, five minutes to Judge Mollywhopper. All right, all right, enough. Yesterday, Aaron Judge went 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with his 47th and 48th homer, as he hits .281. I don’t want to have to bring out the caps, but he’s a ROOKIE. *inserts meme of white guy blinking* He has the rookie record for walks, within one of the rookie record for home runs and the first player with 200 Ks and a .262+ average in baseball history. I looked through the last 120 years of baseball for a comparable year, and I found Mike Schmidt’s best year and a not-yet-white Sammy Sosa. So, a Phillie hero and vitiligo. In the 2nd half, Judge ‘only’ has 18 homers, and increased his K-rate to 32.9% from 29.8, only hitting .213. In 2018, there’s going to be huge risk and reward when drafting Judge. I’d be shocked if he falls further than the top 15 overall, so you’re gonna have to gamble that he won’t hit 40 HRs with a .240, and be essentially Khris Davis. Either way, it’s gonna be tough to Judge. Ugh. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Who loves irony? Did you just answer your mom? I said irony, not ironing. As the British will tell you, irony is not a well-pressed shirt. Though, now that I think about it, if I had a well-pressed shirt, and I said, “This thing is real irony,” I wouldn’t be wrong because I was saying it. Any hoo! The irony I speak of is Alex Gordon hitting the major leagues’ record 5,694th home run on the year, while there was less offense around the league last night than I could remember in some time. Granted, from around September 11th to 14th is a bit of a blur. A true highlight (building shizz up now!) was Kevin Gausman and his dismantling of the Sawx (really overselling) with the line 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.61. This year, like a case of lice, Gausman is a real head scratcher. Looking at his perfs (kids say this; think it’s short for perfumes), Gausman is having a garbage year. Velocity is there, so doubt it’s a hidden injury. The walks are way up, Ks are down, and the culprit appears to be his fastball. Went from a near-10 in pitch value on his speed ball to a negative. FS shouldn’t abbreviate fastball, it should be for “F**k’s sake.” The good news is this sounds like a mechanics problem, and might’ve been fixed already. Thanks, Pep Boys! His 1st half vs. 2nd half: 5.85 ERA vs. 3.44; 7.7 K/9 vs. 9.6 K/9; 4 BB/9 vs. 3.2. Yeah, sadly enough, it’s going to be hard to avoid him in 2018 again. Now, that’s real irony (no, it’s not). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’re at all familiar with management theory, then you’re probably aware generally of the “Peter Principle”. The concept is simple, managers rise to the level of their incompetence. Here’s where you think about your current manager, and snicker. Are you done? Okay, so it’s concept that many of us can relate to, some of us first hand. But what does this have to do with the subject of today’s profile Marlins starter Dillon Peters? Ahhh, his name is Peters? It works right? But perhaps there’s more there. Or maybe I’m overthinking. Yeah, totally overthinking it. Then again, is it possible that Peters has risen to his own level of potential incompetence here in the Bigs? His numbers over the last two years in the minors have been phenomenal, rarely letting up multiple earned runs in a game. In fact over the last two years, across 37 starts between high A and AA, Peters has amassed a 21-9 record with a 2.11 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .224 BAA, 7.5 K/9, and 1.74 Bb/9. While allowing just 5 balls to leave the park in 191.2 innings. So to say he’s on a great run the last few years is an understatement. Will that continue here in the majors or is he due for a heavy regression? Through Peters first few starts he’s been solid but lucky. I actually intended to profile his start last Tuesday at Philadelphia, but pivoted to Sunday’s turn for the rescheduled home game vs the Brew Crew. I figured in case things went awry in Milwaukee recency bias would win out. Here’s what I saw.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Matt Olson went 1-for-2, 2 RBIs with his 18th homer, hitting .273, all in only 49 games, and seven homers in his last ten games. Dizzamn, who is he the American League’s Rhysus? I’d call him Olsonus, but that sounds stupid. We’re ridin’ the Ols-mobile? That’s better (not)! Like me after Taco Bell, he is Olplosive (much worse!). I hear the train a comin’ rollin’ round the bend! I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when! Well I’m stuck with Matt Olson and time keeps dragging on! While a train keeps a rollin’ like Olson to San Antone! Well when I was just a baby my mama told me Olson, Olson, OLSON! Always be a good boy don’t ever play with guns (flexes, showing gun show). Well I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, not OLSON! When I hear that whistle blowin’ I hang my head and I cry because I don’t have OLSON! Whew, that was exhausting. So, obviously, if you need power, you should grab Olsonus, and ride the Ols-mobile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?